Athletics News

Rice Athletics Reveals New Branding Identity

April 11, 2017

by Chuck Pool (cpool@rice.edu) -

New Rice Athletics Brand Style Guide

Rice Brand Website

Rice Athletics has taken on a fresh and dynamic branding identity with the release of a new set of graphic elements which were released to the public on Tuesday.

The results of two years of research and planning were unveiled during a press event as well as during a live webcast from the new Brian Patterson Sports Performance Center at Rice Stadium.

“Our goal with the brand refresh was to create a consistent aesthetic that best represents Rice,” Joe Karlgaard, Rice Director of Athletics said. “We saw an opportunity to create something clear and visually memorable that would complement our primary mark, the Old English R. “

The new family of design elements were designed to establish the best representation of an authentic Rice Athletics brand. These elements retain the iconic Old English R, which has been the primary mark for the Owls since the 2007-08 season, while incorporating an new wordmark, owl body, owl head, fonts and numerals in order to be consistent and solidify what the brand represents. Through refinement, the aim is to reinforce and amplify the brand for Rice Athletics for years to come.

Our Branding team researched the history of the Rice Athletics marks, conducted over 50 interviews with various constituencies (alumni, donors, fans, university personnel including Public Affairs, coaches, student-athletes and students), and sent a survey to over 25,000 people - those currently engaged with Rice and local Houstonians who are not engaged with Rice.

The feedback received through this process revealed:

  1. Strong affinity for the Old English R but a lack of broad recognition.
  2. Mixed feelings for the Old English Script with a sense it is disconnected from the direction of Rice Athletics.
  3. Fondness towards being an owl and all that it represents but a desire for an owl mark that is dynamic, sharp, aggressive and relevant.
  4. Need for marks that are legible, usable, recognizable and consistent.

Rice University Athletics partnered with Torch Creative and adidas to create an identity that addressed the key points from the feedback in order to create visual assets aligned closely with the department’s vision, to further reinforce a commitment to athletic excellence.

The branding reveal was the kickoff to a series of events to promote the introduction of the new graphic identity. Fans attending Tuesday’s second game of the Silver Glove series with Houston will receive rally towels with the new marks while there will be free t-shirts for Rice students sitting on the hill in left field.

Additional campus events for students will be held during the week, concluding with a block party for all Rice fans in Rice Village on Saturday at 5:30.


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